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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jingle Jingle Jingle . . .

Back to a short, routine-filled work week now that my husband is back to work from a four-day weekend.

I'm not done with Christmas gifts yet. Mostly done, but not yet. Above is a scarf I made for my husband for Christmas. He never visits my blog, so it's safe. Ironically, for all I weave, he doesn't own a handwoven scarf by me. Knitted, yes, but not handwoven. It's made with a merino/tencel black warp and wool/silk silver gray weft in "Six Thread Herringbone". I measured warp for two, rather short, 42", scarves, one for my husband and one, just because it's easier to measure for more than one if you're going to wind warp, thread heddles, and sley the reed.

Now, I used to think that I could just make a quick project, at least one scarf, in a couple of days. Just breeze right through. No big deal. Yes, that's generally true. For the most part. Most of the time. Sometimes.

Except, as I have learned, there's always SOMETHING. Always. I no longer believe in the breeze-through-no-big-deal-quick project.

A spring on one of my treadles broke. Thank God I have an eight-shaft loom and was only using four on this project. I couldn't find any extras yesterday, so I just borrowed from another treadle. No spring, can't use the treadle.

The floating selvedge on the left side broke at least five times. A floating selvedge is an extra thread on each side of the warp. It is not threaded through the heddle, so it doesn't go up and down with any of the shafts. It is sleyed through the reed and remains static. I wind the thread around a cork and put it in an old prescription bottle that is weighted with coins or screws, whatever. It only has to be heavy enought to be taut. You use a floating selvedge on any project other than plain weave. In plain weave, the weft will catch one edge or the other of the project and there won't be any loose, gaping threads on the sides. But other patterns, or drafts, may not catch the edges every time, leaving loose threads and a messy selvedge (edge of the fabric). The floating selvedge is the same yarn as the edge of the warp and blends right in.

I was pretty irritated about them breaking all the time. It's easy to repair and add another one on invisible but it sure slows you down.

One of the warp threads broke, too, not far into the scarf.

Oh, and this all happened while making one scarf. I never got to the other one. I'm going to cut my losses on this one. It's a good thing I didn't decide to do this, famously, a day before Christmas. ha.

But the first scarf came out well and will be under the tree later today.

I'm not sure what was up with that yarn. It's an 8/2 merino/tencel but it look a little thinner than the other cone I have. This type of yarn is usually very strong and I love working with is. I think I will make a note inside the cone to only use as weft.

Bah humbug to that.

That's over and I will probably start another project today. And practice my guitar - yay! Because I have the house until late afternoon.

Merry Christmas, all!

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